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Help students in need to achieve their goals

Past academic year it became clear that poverty and inequality are rising, even on our campuses. More and more students are struggling to make ends meet. 1 on 5 VUB-students are forced to count on additional financial support.

The VUB community leaves no one behind

Without the necessary support, talents will be lost. This has to be avoided at all costs which is why rector Caroline Pauwels launched the Relief Fund for students at the Academic Opening of 22 September 2020.

A year of fundraising and helping students taught us that the VUB community has a strong sense of solidarity. We received 1.450 donations from alumni, staff members, sympathizers and the corporate world. Together they collected €225.000. But more important than these numbers even, are the students and their stories that hide behind.

The impact of your donation

Read the compelling testimonials of our students on today.vub.be. There they not only get a face, but also a reaching hand from our VUB community. We have altered the names of our students to respect their privacy.

25-year-old James is a bright engineering student from India who came to Belgium in 2019 to obtain his Master’s in engineering. Before his move to Belgium, he obtained his bachelor’s in India and started working there to earn the budget to continue his education abroad. He knew the VUB was a top-ranked public university with a tuition fee he could afford. So now James is near the end of his second year at the VUB. But that’s about the only thing that went as planned…

Read the story of James on VUB Today.

Angèle has just turned 24 years old. She’s originally from Rwanda and came to Brussels in September 2020 to obtain a Master’s degree. Her dream? She would love to obtain a PhD and has been working ever since to get that doctoral degree and possibly join one of the many research groups at the VUB in Brussels. But first, Angèle aims to obtain her Master’s degree.

Read the story of Angèle on VUB Today.

George is a 26-year-old student from Gambia in West Africa. He’s currently studying business economics and is in his second year. Before that, he was studying at his university in Gambia while his brother was already doing his Master’s at the VUB in Belgium. ‘Some lecturers from the VUB came to Gambia, through my brother I met some of these professors in my university and I was inspired to attend the VUB so that was why I applied and was accepted’, he says.

Read the story of George on VUB Today.

Kofi is 24 and comes from Ghana in West Africa. He is in his final year of the Bachelor program in Social Sciences. He arrived in Belgium in the Summer of 2017 to start his education at the VUB. Before that, he already made some friends in Belgium while he was working for an NGO in Ghana that has a sister organization here in Belgium. Through that organization he got to meet a lot of people from Belgium and discovered the VUB. ‘I always had the intention to study abroad in a new culture, to learn how things can be done differently. Once I have my Bachelor’s, I will continue with the Master’s. Then, I want to go for a PhD’, Kofi shares his ambition.

Read the story of Kofi on VUB Today.

Fernando is 25 and comes from Mexico. He is studying to obtain a Master’s in International Business at the VUB and is currently in his second year. He should graduate in two years but because of the covid19 pandemic he could extend the master program for one more year. ‘I wanted to study at the VUB and also learn French and Dutch. Once I finish my Master’s, I would like to work for a multinational company in Brussels’, Fernando says.

Read the story of Fernando on VUB Today.

Make the difference

You can help our students in need with a symbolic gift, discover the shopping list below.

Costs of living: €50

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Laptop: €500

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Accommodation: €320

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Books and curricula: €40 to €500

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Psychological support: €50

Donate now

Surprise: choose an amount

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This gives you an idea of what every donation means for a student in need. You are free to donate a higher or lower amount. Every donation helps. Every single contribution allows us to turn over the page and start a new positive story.

How everyone wins with philanthropy

In Belgium, donations of €40 and above are up to 45% fiscally deductible. Help even more students out by sharing this page with your family, friends and colleagues. Sharing is not only caring, but also multiplying.

VUB. Every donation returns.

For who has less, even a small donation makes a great difference. Everything that you can miss, will have an enormous impact for one of our students. #LeaveNoOneBehind

‘Our students count on us and I would like to count on you.’


YOU CAN EITHER DONATE ONLINE OR VIA TRANSFER AT THE IBAN ACCOUNT NUMBER BE51 0013 6779 3562 OF THE VUB WITH REFERENCE GIFTFO7.

Donate now and make the difference

Klik hier voor Nederlands

Are you a student in need of financial support? 
Then we kindly redirect you to the website of Social legal & financial support.

#LeaveNoOneBehind

Developing talents is our strongest asset. However, when students face difficulties they run the risk of not obtaining a diploma. In times like these, society cannot afford to lose talent. VUB rector Caroline Pauwels launched a Relief Fund for students to ensure equal opportunities and inclusive education.

The Relief Fund’s mission is to stand by students facing urgent financial, material, social or psychological needs. Your support is a smart investment with good value for money. It boosts our society’s resilience and sustains its economic productivity. We need partners: alumni, enterprises and VUB-sympathizers.

“As a student I combine my internship with my student job. For my thesis I have to be able to work online everywhere. Without a laptop, I cannot finish my thesis.” Master student J. (22)

#WeAreVUB

The VUB fosters a warm community in which students, academics, corporate partners and organizations mutually support one another.

Are you the alumnus lending a helping hand to students disrupted by financial difficulties? Is your enterprise willing to invest in tomorrow’s leaders and innovators? Who else agrees that we cannot let talent be spoiled in our competitive world? Who will contribute to a more resilient and inclusive society?

Create opportunities


YOU CAN EITHER DONATE ONLINE OR VIA TRANSFER AT THE IBAN ACCOUNT NUMBER BE51 0013 6779 3562 OF THE VUB WITH REFERENCE GIFTFO7.

Donate now

How everyone benefits from philanthropy

Diversity on the work floor increases enterprise productivity. Beyond classical CSR, many businesses consciously invest in student talent development. Inclusivity is central to their long-term vision and strategy. How do inclusiveness and diversity fit into your business’ CSR vision? Let’s get in touch to see how this could work for your business. Contact Isabelle Marneffe (Isabelle.Marneffe@vub.be).

All united behind one goal

The VUB Caroline Pauwels Relief Fund emerged from a collaborative effort uniting the VUB Foundation, the International Relations Office, Education and Student Affairs Service (Social, Legal and Financial Support, the Kot Coach and Study Guidance) and the Student Council. Your donation helps to relieve students' financial, material, social or psychological needs. Students count on us. VUB Rector Caroline Pauwels counts on you.

“My mother became a single parent and a debt collector seized her belongings. My child support money is used for my step sister and little brother. My study allowance does not suffice to make the ends meet.” Bachelor student C. (19)
In Belgium, donations of €40 and above are fiscally deductible.

VUB. Every donation returns.

Invest in equal educational opportunities.
The world needs you. #LeaveNoOneBehind.

Donate online or via transfer at the IBAN account number

BE51 0013 6779 3562 of the VUB with reference GIFTFO7.

‘A donation to my fund is a wise investment. The world needs talents.’


Rector Caroline Pauwels

Donate today

Sharing is caring

The need is high and our time is low. Every helping hand is more than welcome. Even if you can’t donate, you can still share. Share this page with your network and help us to create equal opportunities for each and every talent. We leave no one behind.

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